Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no ham in hamburger, no egg in eggplant, neither apple nor pine in pineapple. French fries weren’t invented in France, and English muffins weren’t invented in England. Furthermore, quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is not from Guinea nor is it a pig!
English is also a silly language at times, too. I mean, who in their right mind would create two words with the same spelling and different meanings? I am of course talking about those pesky homographs. For example:
“He wound up the clock with ease, even though he had a wound to his right hand.”
How ridiculous! Of course, you could, and probably would, rephrase that sentence to avoid the homographs. But there are times when we find ourselves accidentally sucked into the vacuum, and like a dog’s mess gracing the pavement of a dark lane, we occasionally step on a homograph-ridden sentence.
Now, before we dive into our list of homographs for your grammatical pleasure, bear in mind that a homograph that is also pronounced differently is called a ‘heteronym’. Oh, and while we’re here, don’t forget the ‘homophone’, which is when two or more words share the same pronunciation but have different meanings, and may or may not be spelled the same way.
And one last thing…
The homograph, heteronym and homophone are all types of ‘homonym’; which is defined as two or more words that share the same spelling, or the same pronunciation, or both, but have different meanings.
Confused? Don’t sweat it. Your friends will scratch their scalps too when you share these:
1. Rita was too close to the door to close it.
2. Dan’s wife said he should polish the Polish furniture on a regular basis.
3. I did not object to the object in question.
4. There is no time like the present to present a friend with a present.
5. The vegetable farm was asked to produce organic produce for the local community.
6. Unfortunately the insurance was invalid for the invalid.
7. The dog lead was dangerous because it was made of lead.
8. I had to hide the animal hide before my vegetarian friend came to dinner.
9. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer pipeline.
10. There was a row between the oarsmen about how to row properly.
11. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
12. She shed a tear upon seeing the tear in the painting.
13. The soldier had to desert his platoon in the desert.
14. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
15. The buck does get rather excited when the does are around.
16. The dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse.
17. To help plant the seeds the farmer taught his sow to sow.
18. The contract was subject to the term that I didn’t contract an illness within the first two months.
19. It took me a minute to locate the minute hole in the fence.
20. After months of procrastination, Helen decided to resume writing her resume.
21. I shall stop here because I am content with this content!
by Jennifer Frost